Stocks Slide as Stimulus Optimism Dented by Covid Reality

Stocks fell Friday and retreated from record highs as a spike in coronavirus infections and the possibility of stricter lockdowns dampened expectations of more economic support from the Biden administration.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set record closing highs Thursday amid optimism over additional stimulus and solid corporate earnings.

But Wall Street turned cautious Friday with investors realizing it may take longer to get back to business as usual as infection numbers across the globe flare.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 184 points, or 0.59%, to 30,991 on Friday, the S&P 500 fell 0.29% and the Nasdaq declined 0.05%.

Shares of Intel  (INTC) – Get Report were falling after the chipmaker posted fourth-quarter earnings and an outlook higher than Wall Street estimates but said it plans to manufacture most chips internally by 2023.

Many investors, including activist Dan Loeb, have suggested that Intel consider spinning off its manufacturing business. 

International Business Machines  (IBM) – Get Report was falling sharply Friday after the computer giant’s earnings beat Wall Street estimates but revenue came up short.

Revenue at IBM fell for a fourth straight quarter and sales for the year declined 4.6%.

Stocks finished mixed Thursday, with the S&P 500 rising slightly but enough to set another record high. The Nasdaq also set a closing high.

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